Starring: Owen Wilson, Jackie Chan, Fann Wong, Thomas Fisher,
Aaron Johnson and Aidan Gillen
Directed by: David Dobkin
Knights (the Shanghai Noon sequel) has some freakin'
hysterical moments. Of course you've got to check your logical
side of the brain at the door before you settle in...
time around the miss-matched duo of Roy O' Bannon and Chon Wang
played by Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan head off to merry old England
circa 1887. They find themselves kung fu-ing and sneaking (Roy)
around some soon to be legends of the era and toying with some
props that frankly if one took a pause to rolodex the catacombs
of their historical knowledge would instantly realize there's
flaws in that there scene! But don't pick too deep just enjoy!
Because historical inaccuracies aside Shanghai Knights
is a frolicking action packed hootenanny!
Chon Wang (Jackie Chan) has been contacted by his sister
back in China. She tells him their father has been killed by evildoers
that were after the oh-so-important Imperial Seal their family
had the honor of guarding. For some reason the seal can make or
break the land
. go with it.
his sister Chon Lin (Fann Wong) follows the bad guys to London,
Wang and his bumbling self-centered sidekick, Roy (Owen Wilson),
hit the high seas after her.
an underlying and treacherously intricate plot forming
that's a lie. But they are about to meet the sinister creep behind
all the bad doing. The ominous and treacherously smarmy Rathbone
(Aidan Gillen). Rath's tenth in line to the thrown of England,
and is as cute as he is wicked! Meow. He's made a deal
with the man who would be Emperor, one Wu Chan (Donnie Yen). Apparently
Wu just needs that seal and all of China will be under his rule
(Mahwahahwha <- diabolical laughter ). Rathbone in return,
needs Wu Chan's new fangled machine gun invention to shorten his
line to the thrown.
pretty much the plot. "Roy's" inability to function
as a decent human being is still very much a big part of the knee
slapping humor. And "Wang's" delightful dances with
derelicts fill the action part of the script. He makes high kicking
and lunge slapping look so easy you'll be tempted to take a Martial
Arts course at the gym!
to resist the love subplot, Shanghai Knights ads the unlikely
matching of Roy with Chon's little sister Lin. Naturally she finds
Roy charming and handsome against her big brother's better judgment.
Women never do see men for the creeps they are do they? Roy falls
smitten in a big way too. He may even change his conniving self-centered
ways for the lassie.
as love and the queen's upcoming 50th jubilee converge it becomes
apparent the fate of the monarchy rests on the bad-guy stomping
abilities of Chon, Roy and Lin
and a couple of misfits they've
hooked up with; an adorable little Dicken-esque street urchin,
Charlie (Aaron Johnson) and a deductive Scotland Yard detective
named, "Artie" ( Thomas Fisher).
makes Shanghai Knights work so well is the clever under
current running for adults; both sexually and historically. Again
Owen smoothly ricochets the punch lines, while Jackie Chan is
still as amazing as ever in his choreographed fight scenes. The
whole family can watch politically correctly. Silent film buffs
get a few added treats as the duo has a few classic tidbits folded
into the mayhem.
though studmuffin wise Owen "Inspector Clouseau Nose"
Wilson's not the sweetest manly torte in the hearth of the lust
fires, he definitely commands the screen and has a special drawl
to his jokes. In lesser hands they'd come off stale and over the
top campy. As always he's wonderful - if still not as sweet on
the retina as brother Luke.
Chan is a lightening bolt. Man can this guy move - still.
What's he 60? I mean he's been kickin' kung fu ass for something
like 45 years - do the math! He does his own stunts to boot. Remarkable.
Wong is a gorgeous talent. They pretty much keep her the generic
China doll fantasy
but she's still a super chickbabe able
to take down a gaggle of goons with one hi-ya!
David Dobkin (who did the wonderful Clay
Pigeons) captures Jackie's intense acrobatic talents and
Owen sarcastic quippings purrfectly! There's a number where Jackie
Chan is in battle with a Bowery of hoodlums and suddenly he grabs
an umbrella. Then in one of the most entertaining action sequences
in the history of cinema he manages to pull of an homage to Singin'
in the Rain (Gene Kelly's triumphant hoofing theme-song scene)
that mesmerizes you at its grace and precision. I for one already
put in a pre order for the DVD so I can view it again. Enjoy!
Recommendation: Dim Sum and Beer.